Walker Lukens New Album & Ticket Giveaway


I’ve been a fan of Harry Nilsson and Todd Rundgren for a long time, and I’ve always admired the diversity of their repertoires. Not everything they do is for me, but I love that their albums are the kinds of albums where epic pop ballad “Without You” can co-exist side-by-side with goofy acoustic jam “Coconut,” or where the barn-burning soul-rocker “Wolfman Jack” is immediately preceded by quintessential 70s pop song “It Wouldn’t Have Made Any Difference.” Eclecticism is hard to pull off, and even though it usually means that no one is going to like every song, eclectic albums as a whole are impressive testaments to an artist’s ability.

Recent Austin transplant Walker Lukens is like a modern-day version of these underrated 70s songwriters, fluidly operating in a multitude of styles. All you need to know in order to solidify this idea is that the two best songs and lead singles on his new record, Devoted, are “Dear Someone” and “Kindle To Your Fire” – songs that are radically different on the surface but connected by Lukens’ powerful voice and poignant writing.

“Dear Someone” would find a great home on a Father John Misty album. It’s a mid-tempo acoustic-based (though a great fuzzy lead guitar comes in late in the track) song that yearns for a meaningful romantic connection before it’s too late. As Lukens becomes more alone and grows older without finding what he’s looking for, the song grows in intensity until the last minute is just an instrumental jam of desperation.

“Kindle To Your Fire,” however, is a spare avant-pop creation that hews much more closely to Yeasayer than the folkier influences of “Dear Someone.” The song is built around layered, repeating vocal lines and scattered percussion; only when the bass “line” kicks in at the 1:30 mark do you realize it was missing. “Kindle” is perhaps the best showcase for Lukens’ fantastic voice, as he effortlessly carries one of the best melodies I’ve heard in over a year.

From these two anchors, the record spirals out in numerous directions. “Lover” takes the layered vocals of “Kindle” into more foundational and darker places – reminding me of Yellow Ostrich; whereas, “Brunch People” is like yacht rock for indie Millennials. Its clean guitar leads, piano accompaniment and easy melody remind of some of the schmaltzier moments of Todd Rundgren’s masterpiece, Something/Anything?.

All these styles, though, mean that I have only begun to wrap my mind and ears around this record. What about the Local Natives-stomp of “The Night I Was Kissed by Patti Smith”? Or the hymnlike “O Friends, I Have No Friend”? Or the easy swing of “When I Lost You, Goddamn, I Lost”? There are so many layers to this record that I have no doubt I will continue to return to it repeatedly in the coming months, trying to figure out which tracks or moments are my favorites and which I can ultimately do without. And really, isn’t that what the best records do?

We believe in Walker so much that we’ve partnered with him and his team to provide you guys with a chance to win a pair of free tickets to his album release show this Saturday at the ND with Good Field and Growl. If you would like a chance to win, please enter below by tweeting or liking us on Facebook. All you have to do is either log in with Facebook or enter your email address then choose an entry option and hit the embedded Tweet button or Like button within the Rafflecopter form below! Email us at contact@ovrld.com if you have any questions.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


– Carter Delloro